Taking the right step towards your career right at the beginning is very important to ensure that you’re happy doing what you do. Problem is how do you decide which career path to take? I could want to be an artist, but if I have no artistic skills, I can’t be one. A wrong decision can seriously affect your future, so it needs a lot of thought and planning.
Your career should be decided on your skill set. What are you good at? Now the next question is, how do you know what you’re good at? Look at these 9 pointers to help you identify your career path.
Get a pen and paper and start jotting points down. The purpose of this exercise is narrowing down to a few possibilities so that it is easier for you to choose and to help you to get more clarity about your future.
- Put down all your achievements
Look at your achievements: extracurricular, academic, where have you excelled? Things that you are good at, great at should all be noted down.
- Put down all the things you were praised for
There are soft skills that we display for which we get praised. Try to remember when a person specifically praised you for how you did things, or took care, or managed situations: whether they praised you because you were helpful, because you managed well, because they loved what you created, etc. Identify them and put them down.
- Talk to friends and family
Sometimes our greatest skills go unnoticed. For example, you could be great at organizing things, but somehow you never got to do any in your institution. So it’s important that you talk to your friends and family. Ask them what they think you are good at. You could get some suggestions which could surprise you. They might suggest something which you always did and therefore took that skill for granted. A fresh perspective on who you are and what they think you’re good at is what you need.
Take this with a pinch of salt (friends and family love you so they tend to exaggerate), and put them down with your entire list. Now you start shortlisting.
- Identify the reasons for your success
Why were you successful in what you did? For example, if people praise you for your presentations, what about the presentation was great? How did you speak? How you created the presentation, how well you researched, etc. If you were part of a successful event, what specific skills did you display that made it successful? The questions you ask need to be specific so that it’s easy for you to find the answers.
- Jot down the possible skill sets
Now start putting down all the skill sets you’ve identified from your achievements, your friends and families opinions and things you were praisedfor. Highlight the skill sets that keep cropping up.
- Highlight the ones you enjoyed the most
Now, highlight the ones you enjoyed the most. It doesn’t necessarily translate to just achievement; it should be a combination of this with your sense of satisfaction. You may have been praised more for one skill set over the other, but if the latter gave you a better sense of satisfaction, that is the one you should highlight.
- Look at career options with regards to the skill set
Now, look at all the possible career options with the skill sets you’ve identified. Which ones excite you the most? Are the options viable for you? Ask all the questions that matter to you, like stability, salary, perks, working hours, etc.
- Find out if you need any additional educational qualification/subject knowledge
You’ve identified a few career options, but some of them might need you to have a professional degree, some might just need you to have basic knowledge about a subject that you may not have studied. If you don’t want to study anymore, you naturally remove this from your list. If that career option seems interesting, you can always do a course online, or study on your own. To know how to prepare for a course by yourself, read: “10 Steps That Can Help You Learn About Accounts On Your Own